Webster’s defines luxury as the “enjoyment of the best and most costly things that offer physical comfort and satisfaction.” For some, this translates into an owning an expensive sports car or a piece of high-end jewelry. Others might envision spending two weeks at a five-star resort in the South Pacific. For me, the most luxurious thing I can think of is having time — specifically, enough time to do the things I enjoy the most. Or, maybe even better, having time to do nothing for a while and not feel guilty.
I was thinking about this while reading the stories for this month’s “luxury issue.” Consider, for example, Ginger Kilbane of Darien, who has been collecting silver since 1988. Not just any silver. Her specialty is what is known as hotel silver — silver-plated nickel tableware that was once found in the grand hotels, steamship lines and restaurants all over Europe. Since it was used by the hospitality industry, the pieces were designed to take the wear and tear that comes from daily use (and today can be popped into the dishwasher at the end of the meal!).
Talk about offering enjoyment and satisfaction without a lot of hassle. What if I, like Ginger, started using silver every day? Or began adding its sparkle to what has become my more-than-casual style of entertaining? Eating could become “dining,” even on my busy schedule. For more about these delectable collectibles, you won’t want to miss Valerie Cruice’s “Everyday Luxury.”
As for the luxury of taking time for yourself, writer Tom Connor discovered that apparently men are now coming to believe what women have known for ages — that the benefits associated with relaxing and taking care of your body (including your skin) cannot be overstated. By some estimates more than 30 percent of today’s spa clients are men. To find out if the results are worth the hype, Connor felt compelled to research his subject thoroughly (i.e., he personally experienced treatments at some of the best spas in our area). Was he convinced? You’ll have to read “Guys Who Spa.” (Hint: He’s already angling to write a follow-up.)
If luxury is fun and frivolous, Stephen Sawicki’s story about Daniel Merritt, formerly of Darien and now a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army stationed in Iraq, is almost exactly the opposite. I say “almost” because, like many twenty-seven-year-olds, Merritt has managed to find an element of fun in a very serious mission. How? Last spring, while interacting with some Iraqi children, he and his men brought along some soccer balls and gave them to the youngsters. The kids, he told Sawicki, “went ape.” Since then Merritt has collected and distributed thousands of soccer balls. His story is a heartwarming account of one man’s attempt to make childhood somewhat more normal in an area that has seen precious little normality for years.
All of us know that we are in the midst of challenging times. Still, we hope that as the holidays approach, you and your families are managing to find opportunities to enjoy at least some of life’s little luxuries.